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Catscan?

Best Friend
Posts: 222
Joined: May 2011

Unsure of why they will be able to tell if my mom's cancer has shrunk through a catscan? She had a catscan and the gyno/oncologist said it looked fine. Now all of the sudden they can see it?

Tina Brown's picture
Tina Brown
Posts: 1054
Joined: Nov 2009

I asked my oncologist a similar question. I wanted to know why they don't do a PET scan for me. He said they didn't need to because the CT scan shows them exactly what they need to see as my cancer has not spread.

What they do is they spend a long long time looking at the very first CT scan so they can make a diagnosis. They then know exactly where the cancer cells are. Any subsequent scans are therefore compared to the previous one. I guess they can see clearly whether the cells have shrunk or grown or spread.

So in answer to your question - if it is fine then that is good news. No new growth :)

Tina xx

eward
Posts: 210
Joined: Feb 2010

My mom has only had CT Scans, never a pet scan. Her drs seem to think this is sufficient.

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

Hi :)

My original scans were all CT scans and they found absolutely nothing, not even on the peritoneum.

They only concluded that I had pertitoneal cancer from the cancerous fluid im my abdomen ("ascites"). Now, six months later, they want to do a PET scan to see if they *can* se anything at all.

Because they couldn't see anything with the CT scans, they put me down as Primary of Unknows Origin with secondary to the Peritoneum. May net find out that I have PPS. PET scan due this coming Monday. Will see..

(By the way, I can't hage an MRI because I have a heart pacemaker, yet a nurse at the oncology unity said that the PET scan was superior to the MRI. I don't know one rom the other)

AussieMaddie

VickiReed's picture
VickiReed
Posts: 66
Joined: Dec 2010

When I went into the clinical trial they let you look at all the scans on
the computer and you could see all the tumors and it had the measurements of the tumors on the report. I wonder if you asked, that they would show yours to you?!
It was very interesting.
XXXX
Vicki

graymidday
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2010

I have heard that a PET shows 'activity' lights up almost where there are active cells. Which I would think with PPC would be superior to a CAT. I guess there is now a 'combination' type scan of PET/CAT, supposed to show alot more. That being said, I have asked my mom's doctor several times and he says no. It kind of p*sses me off! But, he always says that 'No Scan Can Pick Up Microscopic Disease'. So, I guess he just goes on CA125's and symptoms.

lulu1010's picture
lulu1010
Posts: 367
Joined: Feb 2011

I was told that if they saw anything suspicious on a CT scan they would do a PET but have never had one.

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 1533
Joined: Mar 2010

Peritoneal cancers often have poor blood flow, so the tracers in the blood that "light up" when active tumors pick them up don't necessarily get to the tumors. I know that I don't have PET scans - just CT scans (tho I'll be asking about MRIs).

No MRIs if you have a pacemaker because the powerful magnets in the MRI would disrupt the pacemaker. You can't have an MRI if you have metal in the area. Plus, magnets disrupt electrical currents, so another reason for no MRI if you have a pacemaker.

A CT scan is only as good as the size of the slices, but the smaller the slices, the more radiation you are exposed to. Your dr has to select an appropriate size that has a better chance of picking up tumors. However, if your tumor is smaller than the slice, if it occurs between slices, it will not be seen.

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

Abrub,

you don't instill me with confidence. I know I can't have an MRI because of the pacemaker, but I didn't know about the problem of poor blood flow to the peritoneum. Mayben then, they're hoping to find something in the ovaries or elsewhere?

I had the PET scan yesterday. Get the results Thursday (today is Tuesday here - 11.40pm exactly)

More concerned about a friend who is to have his prostate removed tomorrow after they found cancer in that. Fortunately, it was contained in the prostate, hadn't spread, but it's hard for me not to worry about him.

My only other concern is that if they do find something in the PET scan that it will require surgery. I have put on over 30kg since starting chemo (I have not had any nausea with the chemo so my natural tendency to binge eat has been given full sway). At my current size (morbidly/super morbidly obese) any recovery from surgery will be a slower, more difficult thing and may see me having to give up living alone at least for a time. I would hate that! I will take all that into consideration when it comes to making up my mind about how to proceed.

AussieMaddie.

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi AussieMaddie: Don't worry yet about surgery as they haven't found anything to operate on. Chemo may be all you need. CTs AND MRIs miss small tumours as I found out (see previous post on another discussion thread), especially if they are done at different institutions and have different radiologists interpreting them - some have more experience in certain cancers than others or the "slice" can get it one time but not another time, also as I found out. But I would love to see my scans because as a professor I was an expert in image analysis (albeit of vegetation). MRIs are less dangerous than CTs because there is no radiation but as you say you can't have one. Many oncologists believe that CTs are best, others that MRIs are best. My base was an MRI so that is what they will continue to use.
I know it is hard but wait for the PET scan and don't worry about surgery. Me, I just want them to get rid of these peritoneum cancerous nodules.
Good night from canada.

Cheryl

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

Hi,

results of PET scan done on Monday show absolutely NOTHING. CT scans showed nothing, and neither do the PET scans (though I think they did a combination of CT and PET scans this time. So, with my CA125 marker up only one point to 13 this week from last month, oncologist wants me to have at least two more cycles of chemotherapy since I am handlin them so well then, if the marker stays down low, he'll regard me as being in remission, I'll go off palliative and he will see me everu month for a while to make sure that it doesn't worsen.

I really was exepcting to have to have surgery this time, but nope. Nothing. Is it usual for people with peritoneal cancer to show no sign of it on CT scans or on PET scans? I can't have an MRI because I have a heart pacemaker.

Onc. said that I could start talking to my GP about seeing a specialist about stomach bypass surgery to help prevent weight gain. That's been my main worry since putting on over 30 kg sine starting chemo (it's not storoides, it's part of the same psychiatris problem I've had for many years - binge eating disorder. Arthritis playing up a lot since putting on so much weight.

But not sign of the cancer, which is good.

AussieMaddie

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi AussieMaddie: That is great news! A PET scan does a pretty thorough job I'm told in "seeing" little cancers. sometimes small nodules on the peritoneum can be missed like in my case but they see them eventually if they are looking for them andyou passed with flying colours. Best news of the day!
Cheryl

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

Thanks Cheryl.

What's perhaps more confusing (and not to spoil your good tidings) is that I've hit one of the deepest deressions I've ever felt.

Seems to make no sense, does it.

I speak to my psychiatrist on Monday. I think the trouble is that I'm dealing with more than the cancer.

Oh, well.. C'est la vie.

Thanks again. You're warm and kind thoughts are always much appreciated :)

AussieMaddie

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi AussieMaddie: Perfectly natural to have depression when you are dealing with more than one nasty thing. "Am I depressed?" is always the first question when I visit my oncologist (I have to fill out a "health" questionnaire every time I go for blood work and to visit my oncologist). I am always high in "anxiety" but low in "depressed". I don't know much about depression but I think having "cancer" as a possible disease can only add to it. I can only say handle what you can handle and get help with the things you can't handle. My thoughts are with you AussieMaddie.
Cheryl

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

Thank you Cheryl,
I think one of the things that has contributed to my depression has been lack of support, particularly by family in general - but my mental difficlties go back a very long time and have created the very distance which makes it harder for them now. I don't blame them for what a lifetime has created. It's no-one's fault. It's life, one of the sadder parts, but no more than that. I just have to deal with the depression when it hits me and need for support in other ways. My pdoc has started me on an antidepressant which might help. Fingers crossed :)

Best Friend
Posts: 222
Joined: May 2011

I know it does not seem like that much help. But I know for a fact that we are all here to help. Sometimes i feel like even some of my close family(sister, dad,etc.) don't understand how emotional my mom's cancer has made me. I am always the one who holds it together to take care of my mom. I just saw my mom being wheeled into her room after a 5 hr. surgery and i just lost it. The surgery went well, but I am aware of the pain she will go through and NO ONE deserves all of it. The love I have for her makes me feel like I want to know how she feels. I am so trying to live through it. Even during the surgery i was on the computer looking up images of ppc tumors, and my sister was like UGH! I just feel like i wanna know everything. Yeah, it is gross but how does she feel having this actually in her body!
When i saw her with her breathing tube and all swollen in pain trying to push for her pain medicine I am the one who held it together but yet my sister was telling me outside the room that i weas being irrational and was just tired and that's why i was upset and crying. NO! So than she's trying to start a fight. I am bipolar but I am on medicine that has evened me out for the first time in my life. I know now when it is me causin an argument or someone else. I get up and walk away in any situation. They know i have swings so they try and get me to lose it to prove their point. Especially my sis who is bipolar to and should no better.But whatever. I knew she was gonna lose it when she saw her out of it in her bed. And i once again am the one who stands and talks to her like things are great and the surgery went great mom, and my sis is in the corner almsot crying.
I can't imagine having the cancer but i am really going through it. I don't want this for her. I can't feel what she feels. It's okay though now for me to be sad and get it all out.
Anyway, I went off track, but depression is normal and my mom switched her anti-depressant for the first time in years and it helps her now to deal with the depression of chemo. She walked into that surgery like, LET'S DO THIS!" It was sooooo impressive!
I am here if you need me. So is everyone else. No matter how bad u feel, let us know.!!!!!

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

...keep on being supportive and involved! Your mom is on her way to recovery!
Cheryl

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

Hi,

I didn't know that you were bipolar. What a load to carry as you care for your mother. I know that bipolar tends to be linked genetically. It's not unusual for it to run in families. You say that your sister is too. Is your mother? That would cause her to act out in ways that would make it much harder for you.

My heart goes out to you. Although I'm not bipolar, I identify with part of your experience. I wonder, for example, if your need to seek to understand all that is happening to your mother - all the physical things happening inside her as well as her experience of it - might be part of a manic-charged need to stay in control of it. Maybe not. It's not uncommon for someone who becomes manic to be mentally hyperanalytical. Are there times when you are able to let go at all? I mean, completely put outside your mind thoughts about your mother's illness or any other difficulties that you are having with your sister for example? *You need to be cared for too*. Do you have enough proper medical and psychological support offline? I hope so. If you don't, do seek out a good counsellor. If your mum is on palliative care, they could put you in touch with a carers group or association to support you. If you were able to do it, I'd highly recommend any form of meditation that allows you to relax and still your mind, even if only for ten minutes once or twice a day.

I've just started an antidepressant called Pristiq (close to Effexor). I've never found them of help in the past and don't know how this one will go. May I ask what your mum has been put on that has helped her. I know that different meds help different people. Some that help my friends or relatives have not worked for me. I just find it interesting to know what other people find of help.

I haven't needed an antidepressant mostly because depression wasn't a big part of my history, but I do take anti-anxiety medication which helps a lot. The only thing with those of course is, even if you don't develop an emotional dependence on them, your body develops a tolerance to them so you need more in time.

I had to laugh when I read in a link given on this board on a different thread about dying, in which it said that you don't need to be worried about becoming addicted to strong pain relieving medication when you have terminal cancer.

I know you are here for us. Just know that we are here for you too, ok?

Love,

AussieMaddie

Best Friend
Posts: 222
Joined: May 2011

Yep, I am bipolar. It's ok. Mine more effects my moods. There are times when I get upset about my daughter playing all over the house and not cleaning up, but I do not really have that huge spring from mania to depression. My case is more of a mood swing thing. I finally have it under control after dealing with moods my whole life. Every now and again I will almost lose it but now I can recognize when i am going to have an incidence of explosiveness and I try to leave the situation. I just get really angry, or really happy and they switch back and forth very fast. However, once the nasty starts I have like a breakdown.
My mom is not bipolar. She suffers from depression. She is on citalopram or something of that spelling.
I can let go of my mom's illness when i am busy. Like at work, for example. But it will naturally sneak in. I am not really in control of things. My sister is the controlling manic/ depressive bipolar. She is alot worse than me. But it is ok. I know she can say alot of hurtful things. Sometimes they are so bad that it can really sting.
Anyway, I am thankful you understand all of my craziness. My mom has only a little cancer hanging from her spleen but I don't understand why they couldn't take the spleen out. The doc wants her to start having chemo every week. Ouch. Before it was every three weeks.

Thanks,
Love,
Best Friend

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

(((( gentle hugs ))))
Here for you Best Friend .. AND .. for each other
xxx

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